Designing Instruction that Honors Client Assent Withdrawal, Promotes Self-Advocacy, & Minimizes Harm


Presenter(s): August Stockwell

Abstract: Unpublished Justice Department data suggest that individuals with intellectual and learning disabilities are at least seven times more likely to experience sexual assault than their neurotypical peers and that 86% of these assaults are committed by a non-stranger (Shapiro, Anderson, Benincasa, & Van Woerkom, 2018). Because of this, behavior analysts and other helping professionals have a crucial role in supporting client development of self-advocacy skills, which involve giving and removing of assent. We also have a responsibility to help create environments in which client autonomy and preferences are respected. This training reviews the BACB ethical codes relevant to client autonomy and assent and outlines ways to address these skills from an instructional design perspective. Empirically supported literature and SCCs will be presented, and questions and discussion will be welcomed throughout the workshop. Practice activities will be provided to encourage application of the content, presenters will facilitate a discussion of several clinical scenarios, and attendees will have the opportunity to explore how these strategies can best be implemented with the client populations they serve.

CEUs: 2

Objective(s): 1. Select examples of both vocal and non-vocal responses indicating assent and removal of assent; 2. Identify the ways in which training over-compliance can be harmful for clients; 3. Select the key elements of an assent withdrawal instructional program; 4. Given a scenario, select a response in line with BACB ethical codes and promotes client autonomy and choice.


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